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Pilates is For Everyone

Written by Lisa Mathews

My 28 years in the fitness industry have given me the opportunity to experience many different exercise programs that have come across the gym floor. My fitness-wisened body has taught me many things:

  • You have to make your workouts count no matter what you are doing
  • Thong leotards were nobody’s friend
  • Leg Warmers have come back but more for fashion than function
  • New exercise programs no longer have names just numbers and letters-P90X®, TRX®, BOSU®, 360 Trainer, etc.
  • Exercising is for any one at any age

One of the most important things that I have gleaned from my experience is that trends cycle around, the science behind exercise is always improving how we train and no matter what type of client I have, I will always incorporate Pilates into every training session I do. I have designed many fitness programs for major gym chains, NFL football players, dancers, athletes, fitness groups, youth and adults as well as our aging population. Each genre can benefit greatly from the principles and moves incorporated with Pilates.

Exercise Buff-Motivation can be a challenge when we have to get ourselves to work out on a regular basis. Pilates can help your adherence by offering a sound and entertaining way to become stronger and promote a “Wickedly” strong core plus long and lean muscles.

Youth-Children have become much more sedentary. Regular exercise is essential for their health. Pilates can offer fun building blocks of movement to promote good body mechanics and enhanced coordination while their bodies are growing. Muscle-strengthening activities are an important part of their program. The safety and efficacy of strength training in youth has been well-documented.

Athlete-Pilates can promote a better sports performance. It focuses on balancing out muscle recruitment while aligning joints so they perform at an optimal level. When muscles work together synergistically, participants can see improved gains in strength, power, coordination, performance and flexibility. It can give you the edge athletes are looking for.

Aging Population-America is aging and many suffer from one or two chronic conditions that may alter or limit their quality of life. For every decade after the age of 25, 3-5% of their muscle mass can be lost. Adding Pilates exercises that promote mobility, balance, coordination and agility can ensure better movement.

Adult-Schedules have become increasingly hectic. Exercise time has been replaced by running kids around, crazy work schedules or church and community responsibilities. Mat Pilates can be performed anywhere at any time. Incorporating core and back strengthening exercises can relieve and improve movement in our fatigued bodies.

I could mention many more populations that would benefit from Pilates but you get the idea. My experience has given me a great opportunity to see that Pilates should be incorporated into everyone’s workout.

Article Reviewed: June 29, 2012
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